Hair Etiquette

6:56:00 AM 2 Comments A+ a-

At least twice a week I hear the same question:

"Wow. Look at your hair! It's so big! Can I touch it?"

::cue record scratch, car crash, and plates breaking::

No matter where I am, what I'm doing, someone is bound to comment on  my hair. Not that it bothers me, I'm actually quite flattered. But what does bother me is when someone wants to touch it. What would make a perfect stranger think I am going to let them run their fingers through my tresses...and I be alright with that? There is a little thing called "Hair Etiquette" that some people do not realize exists.

Rule 1: Do not touch someone's hair unless they have given you permission or offer to let you touch it. During my pregnancy, I could not stand strangers reaching out to rub
my stomach. I would walk through stores with my hands covering my belly just to protect my unborn son from being rubbed by strangers. I now give people weary and "back off" looks when I see their hands heading towards my hair.

Rule 2: Calling people "Angela Davis'  little sister", "Chaka Kahn's twin", "Frederic Douglass' long-lost relative" can be hurtful. Sure we love all these natural idols but we have names. Call us by them.

Rule 3: "How long as your going to wear your hair like that...nappy?" Seriously, nappy?

Rule 4: Regardless of how someone's hair may look, styles vary per person. Do not be upset with someone when you try a style that they normally wear and it doesn't work for you. It's a process. Examine and play with your hair. You may create your own style that others try to copy.

Rule 5: Do not assume that someone's hair is a wig or sew-in. There is nothing wrong with rocking a curly sew-in that looks like natural hair. Nothing wrong with it at all, but to blantantly tell someone that their hair MUST be a weave is pretty mean. I'm sure if it were, they would tell you.

Rule 6: If someone is transitioning or newly natural, offer an encouraging word or compliment. People are very sensitive about their hair during this time and any positive reinforcement is good. The journey hasn't been easy but it will be worth it.

Be kind to one another when it comes to hair. You never know if that compliment you just gave someone will brighten their day or be the extra push they need to get through their transition.


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September 27, 2010 8:18 PM delete

I feel so guilty b/c every time I see you, I touch ur hair w/o asking *hangs head* Sorry, Mo!! LOL!!

Naturally Me
September 27, 2010 10:35 PM delete

@Lisa - Ha! It's ok. I don't mind it from people I know, it's the strangers I have a problem with.